The atoll was probably discovered in 975 A.D. by Arabian sailors along with Dina Arobi (“Abandoned Island” – Mauritius) and may be referred to as Baixos on the 1502 Cantino Planisphere.

It was named in 1506 by Portuguese sailors who put ashore for provisioning on their way to India. Pirates and French corsairs have used the islands as a refuge.

In 1598, the Dutch occupied the islands.

On 12 February 1662, the East India Ship Arnhem ran aground on the Saint Brandon Rocks. Volkert Evertsz, the captain, and other survivors of the wreck survived by piloting a small boat to Mauritius, and are thought to have been the last humans to see live dodos. They survived the three months until their rescue by hunting “goats, birds, tortoises and pigs” Evertsz was rescued by the English ship Truroe in May 1662.  Seven of the survivors chose not to return with the first rescue ship.

Mauritius and its associated islands were colonised by the French in about 1715, granted by the King of France to the Compagnie des Indes in 1726 but retroceded to the French Crown in 1765. In the book ‘The history of Mauritius, or the Isle of France, and the neighbouring islands; from their first discovery to the present time’ (1801) by Charles Grant, the author quotes from his father’s papers that “The bank of Corgados Garayos was, in 1742, the first object of the researches made by the boat named the Charles, and the tartan the Elizabeth, dispatched from the Isle of France (Mauritius) by order of M. Mahe de la Bourdonnais, at that time Governor of it. These two vessels having made it on the 27th of August, anchored there, and traced a plan of it, by which it is represented in the form of a horse-shoe, and of six leagues in extent, running north-north-east and south-west. These two boats not having been on the north side, and, consequently, not having perceived the isles which lay off it, its small extent, and the affinity of its latitude and longitude with that of Saint Brandon, on which an English vessel, called the Hawk, (le Faucon) was stranded on her return from Surat to Europe, induced me to consider it as one and the same shoal” Saint Brandon was referred to as ‘Cargados’ in Samuel Dunn‘s world map of 1794.

Maritime Route Brest to Siam 1686 by Vincenzo Coronelli

World map by Samuel Dunn, 1794

Boulle’s Expeditions

André-Marie Boulle was a French businessman and adventurer who loved nothing more than exploring the world with his family. One of his most memorable expeditions was to the Saint Brandon Islands, a remote archipelago located in the Indian Ocean.

Boulle and his family set out on their journey from the port city of Marseille, eager to discover the many wonders that the Saint Brandon Islands had to offer. The trip was long and arduous, with rough seas and unpredictable weather making the journey difficult at times. But Boulle and his family were determined to push on, and after many days at sea, they finally arrived at the islands.

The Saint Brandon Islands were a true paradise, with crystal clear waters and sandy beaches that stretched as far as the eye could see. Boulle and his family spent their days exploring the islands, hiking through the lush forests, swimming in the warm waters, and soaking up the sun on the sandy beaches.

But the Saint Brandon Islands were not just a place for relaxation. Boulle and his family also had the opportunity to learn about the rich history and culture of the islands, visiting ancient ruins and speaking with the local people about their way of life.

Overall, Boulle’s family expeditions to the Saint Brandon Islands were a truly unforgettable experience, filled with adventure, discovery, and the joy of spending time together in a beautiful and exotic location.